Personalizing your computer

You can add a personal touch to your computer by changing the computer's theme, color, sounds, desktop background, screen saver, font size, and user account picture. You can also select specific gadgets for your desktop.

To watch a video, see Picture of the Play buttonVideo: Personalizing your PC.


A theme includes a desktop background, a screen saver, a window border color, sounds, and sometimes icons and mouse pointers. You can choose from several Aero themes. Use the whole theme or create your own customized theme by changing the pictures, colors, and sounds individually. For more information, see What is a theme?

Picture of the parts of a theme
Parts of a theme

You can add more themes to your collection from the Personalization Gallery on the Windows website.


Aero is the premium visual experience of this version of Windows. It features a transparent glass design with subtle window animations, a new Start menu, a new taskbar, and new window border colors. For more information, see What is the Aero desktop experience?

Picture of window border colors
Window border colors that are available with Aero

To learn how to change colors in Windows, see Change the colors on your computer.


You can change the sounds your computer makes when, for example, you receive an e‑mail message, start Windows, or shut down the computer. For more information, see Change computer sounds.

Desktop background

The desktop background, also called wallpaper, is a picture, color, or design on the desktop. It provides a backdrop to your open windows. You can choose one picture to be your desktop background or you can display a slide show of pictures. For more information, see Create a desktop background slide show and Change your desktop background (wallpaper).

Picture of desktop backgrounds that come with Windows
Some of the desktop background choices in Windows

Many more desktop backgrounds are available in the Personalization Gallery on the Windows website.

Screen saver

A screen saver is a picture or animation that appears on the screen when you haven't used the mouse or keyboard for a set period of time. You can choose from a variety of Windows screen savers. For more information, see Change your screen saver.


  • If you upgraded to Windows 7 from Windows XP or Windows Vista, be aware that themes work a little differently in Windows 7. Whenever you change the theme, the new theme's settings will be applied to your desktop, including the screen saver. In some cases, the new theme might change your screen saver setting to None, and you'll need to reapply the screen saver settings you want.

Font size

You can make the text, icons, and other items on your screen larger by increasing the dots per inch (DPI) scale. You can also decrease the DPI scale to make text and other items on your screen smaller, to fit more on the screen. For more information, see Make the text on your screen larger or smaller.

User account picture

A user account picture helps identify your account on a computer. The picture is displayed on the Welcome screen and on the Start menu. You can change your user account picture to one of the pictures included with Windows, or you can use your own. For more information, see Choose a picture for your user account and Start menu.

Desktop gadgets

Desktop gadgets are customizable mini-programs that can display information, such as continuously updated headlines or a picture slide show, without having to open a new window. For more information, see Desktop gadgets: frequently asked questions and Customize desktop gadgets.

Picture of gadgets on a desktop
Gadgets on a desktop

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